On July 8 1991, the Panevėžys Jewish community was reestablished, the statute of Jewish community was registered in the Panevėžys municipality. The community has raised a certain aim – to awake the national self-awareness, cultural level and spirituality of the members. The community has committed in its activity to follow principles of efficiency, sincerity and fellowship. It intends to cooperate with different democratic organizations, other confessions.
Anatolijus Feinbliumas was appointed as chairman of the community; Alexandr Krasnočiarov, Cemach Klis, Alexandr Muni, Rocha Saveljeva, Brone Maksimitcheva, David Chosid, Sergej Amiton were nominated as Board Members. One of the major aims, raised by the Jewish community, was to make every effort in order to recover the public buildings that had belonged to Jews. In February 25 1992, chairman of the Jewish community Anatolijus Fainbliumas, Board Members Cemach Klis, S. Munic, D. Sosover handed in a letter to the Panevėžys city municipality with a request that the list of buildings to be privatised would not include these objects that had once belonged to the Jewish community till the year of 1940: the Jewish seminary Yeshiva, Savanoriai a. 14, the Jewish secondary school, Elektra str. 9 , etc., in total nine objects are listed. The former Yeshiva building, however, was privatised. Here the year of 1947 should be recollected, when on December 4 1947, the local Jews - Dudik Girsta who resided in. Krantas str. 9., Segal Mayer (Ramygala str. 47) and others - addressed in writing the Panevėžys Executive Committee of National Deputy Council (ECNDC ) with a request to return the former synagogue, located in Laisvės a. 3. The authors of this statement urged the authorities to solve this issue “as soon as possible, as it is extremely important for the worshippers“. The statement was signed by 28 persons, in total the list covered 31 people.
Until now (2009), however, the Panevėžys Jewish community has not recovered neither the former community buildings, nor a synagogue. Yet in 1992, signatory of the Act of Independence of Lithuania Emanuel Zinger instigated the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to return the public buildings that had once belonged to the Jewish community. According to E. Zinger, “these 6 per cent out of 100 Jews who had survived are not responsible for their fewness. Only they are the real inheritors of all the prewar Jewish institutions, synagogue buildings [...] Let Jews from Panevėžys and all over Lithuania recover those already most often dilapidated synagogue buildings; I would think it will not be too much for them in the face of resting-place of 400 Jews and mass shooting places in Lithuania“ 218. Symbolically, in May of 1999 Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See Oded Ben-Hur (his relative roots are in Vilnius) during his first visit in Panevėžys where he met with the Panevėžys community noted that his visit can become a stimulus for the Jewish community to recover the worship house in Motiejus Valančius street.
 In the period of 1989–2005, a part of Panevėžys Jewish community  left for Israel. Currently, families of doctors Nelson and Mira Rozov, tradeswoman Frida Beriozova, teacher S. Levin, Cemach Klis, engineer Grigorij Kac live in Israel. Since the year of 1999, twins Marius and Artūras, sons of Reizė Baumanienė (several years ago also their parents), the A. Krasnorarovai and other families also have been spending their days in Israel.
The Jewish community bid farewell for good to Jakov Marijampolski, the former photographer, author of the book „My pain“ (translated form Russian by J. Sabalys, Panevėžys: Tėvynė, 1991), a Board Member Samuelis Municas and his wife Frida, Anatolijus Fainbliumas, Rocha Saveljeva, Elius Joffe, Bronė Maksimičeva, Member of Honor of the Jewish community, the World Righteous Jonas Markevičius.
In 1999, the Commuinity included 36 members, 16 of them were Jews. Jewish men married not only Jewish girls, but also Lihuanians, Russians, Karaites. The Panevėžys Jews work as doctors, engineers, business people. Till the year of 2001 the most authoritative person of the community was chairman Anatolijus Fainbliumas (1920–2001). He was a journalist, with perfect skills of German, Hebrew, Russian, Lithuanian languages. In 1958, he wrote a play “The New Morning is Coming”, staged by Panevėžys Juozas Miltinis Drama Theatre and directed by Jonas Alekna. The main roles were performed by actors: Liudvika Adomaviciute, Laima Liesytė, Bronius Babkauskas, Stepas Kosmauskas, Roma Mikalauskaitė and others.220 In 1959, the play was published by the State Fiction Publishers.
Due to hard attempts of Anatolijus Fainbliumas, in 1993 the monument “Ghetto Gates” (in Klaipėda str.) was erected. In the year of 2000, a memorial tablet was set up close to the former Yeshiva seminary building. Chairman of the community G. Kofman contributed a lot in realizing the idea to set up a memorial tablet on the former house of worship, in Motiejus Valancius str. No 4.
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After chairman A. Fainbliumas’ death, in 2001, he was replaced by young, vigorous and smart manager, former officer of the Soviet army Gennady Kofman. G. Kofman was appointed to work in Panevėžys city in 1973. Today the Jewish community unites more than 86 members (each member has a certificate with a photo and the community stamp and a signature of the chairman).
In 2005, the Community Board consisted of chairman Gennady Kofman, deputy chairman Jurij Raak (Smirnov), board members Jurij Grafman, Inna Karalevičienė, Dovydas Chosidas, Lijana Dragūnienę, Anna Tass.
In the period of 2007–2008, the Board consisted of chairman Gennady Kofman, deputy chairman Jurij Raak (Smirnov) – pensioner, former foreman of Panevėžys railway depot, members - Jurij Grafman, a lawyer, head of the advertising agency „Aukštaitijos reklama”, Ina Ulianskiene – director of store “Raginta” of the company “Ulianskas and Co”, Dovydas Chosidas – a businessman, Sergej Amiton – ophthalmologist, Michail Grafman – pensioner.
Due to huge attempts and requests of the Chairman and Board Members, on July 8, 2004, in accordance with the decision of the Panevėžys city Municipality Council No 1-20-13 „On Disposal of Premises According to the Agreement”, the contract with the Panevėžys city Jewish community was concluded. According to this agreement, longterm assets of the municipality – nonresidential premises in the former Jewish Girls’ Gymansium (now the Youth secondary school, Ramygala str. 10 ) - was handed over to the Jewish community. In this central office of two rooms (49,36 sq. m) various events are organized: meetings with pupils and teachers of Panevėžys city and district, seminars are held; on Sundays, the Community members study in the ivrit school; here also different lessons or lectures of the youth club are organized; national holidays are celebrated; the project “Cosy Home” is being realized; guests from Israel, US A, Ryga, Vilnius and other towns are accepted; Jewish sacred services are held, etc.
Chairman of the community Gennady Kofman showed a nice initiative in arranging the exposition “Fragments of the Panevežys Jewish History“ in the central office of the community. The exposition, presented on nicely designed stands, shows photos and short introductory texts, disclosing fragments of life of Elijus Joffė (1923–2004), Zamulis Leiba (1924–1998), Michail Kofman (1921–2005), Sergej and Rocha Saveljev, Aizik Berent, Jasevič Isaak (1943–2005), Jakov Grafman (1906–1988), Jakov Marijampolskis (1926–1996).
Originally designed, the stands with drawings by region study specialist Liudas Žebrauskas reveal such buildings as The Great Synagogue (Elektra str.), the Jewish Nursing Home (Sodai str.), Jews’ Secondary School (Elektra str.), etc.
The other part of exposition includes photos about the Holocaust of Jews from Panevėžys regional towns, the former Jews’ homes, synagogues. Gennady Kofman together with the chief museum specialist from Panevėžys Regional Study Museum Joana Viga Čiplytė prepared three big stands: exhibition „Life Fragments of the Panevėžys Jewish Community (artist Danguolė Gailiūnaitė).
The Panevėžys Jewsih community maintains relations with Kupiškis, Rokiškis, Pasvalys, Biržai municipality administrations, Panevėžys city municipality and educational institutions – K. Paltarokas, Juozas Balčikonis and Vytautas Žemkalnis gymnasiums, several schools, such as „Vyturys“, A. Lipniūnas, „Žemyna“, Juozas Miltinis, M. Karka, Secondary school No 9, etc. Integrated projects are developed with school communities (Tolerance club activity), exhibitions and seminars are held, different events and national holidays are commemorated. Particularly close relations are maintained with the Panevėžys bishopry – bishop Jonas Kauneckas, Rev. Robertas Pukenis, Providence Sisters’ Congregation Members, members of other confessions, specialists of Panevėžys Regional Study Museum, communities of Panevėžys national minorities (Tartars, Russians, Karaites, Latvians, etc.).

Panevezys Jews today






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El. p. genakofman@yahoo.com

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